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The Mystery of the Phantom Fill and Stroke Contest Answer and Winner

It’s time to reveal the solution—and the winner—for this month’s InDesignSecrets contest! 

Here’s the scenario: 

You a receive a layout file created by another designer. In Preview mode, it looks OK.

InDesign contest phantom fill stroke

But if you view it in Normal mode, the text frames appear to have stroke and fill colors.

InDesign contest phantom fill stroke

But when you select the text frames and check the Swatches panel, it shows there is no stroke and no fill applied to any of the text frames.

InDesign contest phantom fill stroke

If you view the file with Overprint Preview turned on, you don’t see the colors. Likewise, they don’t appear in output like a PDF.

Why do these text frames appear to have stroke and fill colors in the Normal viewing mode?

Solution: There are two scenarios where the frames would appear this way.

1. XML tags were applied to the frames. When you show tagged frames (View > Structure > Show Tagged Frames), they appear in the layout with the color associated with the tag.

2. The frames were assigned as InCopy content. In the Assignment Options you can choose a color to show which text frames belong to each assignment. Then to see those colors in the layout, choose View > Extras > Show Assigned Frames.

And the winner of this contest is…

Valentine Valentine (that’s not a typo)

Valentine wins 3 months access to videos of any 2 days of CreativePro Week 2017.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and be on the lookout for another contest with a new great prize next month!

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. Author of lynda.com courses on InDesign and Illustrator. Husband. Dad. Dog walker.
Mike Rankin

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3 Comments on “The Mystery of the Phantom Fill and Stroke Contest Answer and Winner

  1. I missed the contest, before I got to the answer, I thought “notification of something”, but would have had no idea what. Both logical, do not use either, but interesting just the same.

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